“BUCHANAN ­ Indian Point officials took the entire 156-siren network down about 12:45 this afternoon, according to Rockland County officials, creating the need for police and other emergency personnel to alert residents by individual area in the 10-mile-radius evacuation zone should there be a true emergency.

Officials at Entergy, which owns the plants, were expected to keep the system off-line for about two or three hours as they tried to figure out what went wrong during a 10:30 a.m. test of the sirens in the four counties surrounding the nuclear plants in Buchanan.

There was also no back-up siren system available at that time, county officials said.

A computer program that both triggers the sirens and monitors whether they sound malfunctioned, so officials could not immediately determine how
many sirens sounded during the 10:30 a.m. test.

Indian Point did have some people assigned as spotters. In Westchester, spotters were at 14 locations, and all those sirens sounded, officials reported. Three spotters in Orange County reported their sirens sounded. Information
was not immediately available for Rockland and Putnam counties.

“Let’s pray there’s no real emergency before the new siren system is tested in October,” said C.J. Miller, spokeswoman for Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef.

Indian Point officials have agreed to replace the decades-old system by 2007.

The sirens are not supposed to signal evacuation, but rather alert residents to check local media sources for more information about an incident at the plants.”

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